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The Packard Defence

ED4: The Packard Defence

So, you like The Empire Dance. You’ve read the first three episodes. You’re eager to read the fourth. Fear not, gentle reader, your hunger is easily assuaged.

The Packard Defence is now available for pre-order at Smashwords – click this linky thing to get there and do that very thing! – and on May 4th, it will be yours….

(And for those of you who haven’t read the first three episodes, from May 4th – May 11th only, ALL THREE will be available at Smashwords for the bargain price of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So pre-order #4 now, and get 1-3 for nowt! Don’t go saying I never give you nothing!)

Cover Uncovered!

It’s been a long time coming – but it’s here at last! The Packard Defence, the long-delayed fourth part of The Empire Dance, is heading into the final stretch of edits and jiggery-pokery and that means, amongst other things, trying to work out a decent cover design.

It may not have escaped your notice that all three books thus far released have featured a variation on a single image on their covers. This time around, I’ve gone in a far less abstract direction. So without any further ado, this is the cover for The Packard Defence…

The Packard Defence

ED4: The Packard Defence

Big Finish Folly – On the Move!

It’s been quiet for a while, but just in case you were worried about the state of my magnificently quixotic crusade to listen – in as chronological order as possible – to the recorded audio output of the 5th-8th Doctors from Big Finish, fret not and worry no more!

For, y’see, this brief hiatus has given me the opportunity to port all the existing reviews over to a dedicated blog, leaving this one free for non-Who related stuff. Though if you’d like to keep following the musings, ramblings and occasional punkish snerts of this here writer of Epic Fantasies and Tall Tales, I’d be most humbly grateful.

Meanwhile, going forward, all new Big Finish Folly content (as well as all previous reviews) can now be found at – surprisingly enough – I look forward to seeing you there!




Fox Spirit Books, a rather cool indie press who run a natty line in pocket-sized anthologies (along with other cool goodies) will be publishing my short shaggy dog tale That Sinking Feeling in the upcoming Fox Pockets collection Under The Waves.

That Sinking Feeling, in which two hopeless thieves are bitterly disappointed with their latest haul, joins tales by my excellent fellow Inkbots KC Shaw, Emma Maree, and JB Rockwell.

In case that isn’t enough to tempt you, bear in mind that the first three Fox Pockets (Piracy, Guardians, and Shapeshifters) carried tales by Alasdair Stuart, Kate Laity, Den Patrick, and KC Shaw, amongst many others – and all are available as ebooks for under £2.50. Fox Spirit are presently doing a damned good job of getting tales from fresh new writers – join The Skulk, and make sure you’re at the front of the pack!

Causing a Commotion


Bad Photographer in the Fourth Row

For what seems the first time in years, we went to a gig. Lloyd Cole, solo, at the Sheffield City Hall Ballroom. Last time I saw him play live, he was pushing the Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe album back in 1991ish. The t-shirt I bought after that gig lasted a good ten years before it finally gave up the ghost.

It was good. No, wait, it was much better than that. Lloyd Cole’s voice hasn’t changed for the worse over the years – it’s simply got more awesome. The newer songs might be less spiky, with fewer “babes” per verse, but the voice, the attitude… no, really, I wasn’t crying. Seriously. No.

I don’t think I’ve been inside Sheffield City Hall this decade either – it’s had quite a facelift and looks completely unlike anything I remember (although my memories are quite frankly unreliable, revolving as they do around dodgy club nights like Brighton Beach, Pop Tarts & Climax). ballroombarThe main bar area behind the subterranean Ballroom is particularly beautiful, though the intricately patterned ceiling of the Ballroom itself comes a close second.

My photo (courtesy of a poorly aimed Samsung Galaxy) hardly does justice to the brilliant blues of the pillars and the patterning between the arches of the ceiling. It’s a truly wonderful art deco installation – which would be horribly wasted on the denizens of the student club nights that I used to attend back in my wayward youth.

Meanwhile, here’s three and a half minutes of fun to whet yer whistle.


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